David Axelrod, the Chicago political consultant who helped Barack Obama win two terms in the White House, arrived in London to begin advising Ed Miliband’s opposition Labour Party, a party official said.
Axelrod and his firm AKPD Message And Media LLC will offer advice on planning and messaging, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the party’s strategy is private. He is due to spend two days in London, having dinner with Miliband tonight and addressing the party’s senior team tomorrow, the official told reporters.
The U.S. campaign guru arrived in the week that Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives overtook Labour in the polls for the first time in two years. The next U.K. national election is set for May 2015.
“I’m not quite sure what Axelrod is meant to do,” said Steven Fielding, professor of politics at Nottingham University. “The Miliband offer isn’t going to change. Axelrod is an expensive political ornament.”
According to the party’s statement when he was hired last month, Axelrod and AKPD will start to do more work for Labour in early 2015, as the election approaches.
The Conservatives have hired their own Obama adviser, 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina, to offer “strategic campaign advice.”